A couple of people have asked me for my talk slides, so here they are along with a few notes/a summary of the talk.
Pitching is often incredibly hard. Hard like homework, and not always fun. Especially if you’re shy/anxious, pitching can be a huge hurdle to overcome. So sometimes it helps to think a bit more like a salesperson. You (and your ideas) are a product you’re trying to sell. Step away from it a little bit and think about it the way a salesperson would – what are the features and benefits (to an editor or reader) of this particular idea, and why are you the best person in the world to write this up?
What is your unique selling point as a writer? You definitely have one (or more!) things that are unique passions, skills, experiences. You probably have unique contacts, you may have a particularly large (or niche) audience. No one does what you do quite like you – so work out what your uniqueness is and use that as a selling point for your work.
By the way… pitching isn’t just about sending a para or two to a magazine or website to sell them your latest article idea. It can also be something like a book proposal (a non-fiction book proposal is basically just a long form pitch), an SEO description (you’re pitching this particular bit of content to a person who has Googled a particular term) or a blog post (if you’re trying to persuade people to buy products through your affiliates, for instance). Also ads for hair loss clinics that you see on the tube.
Your pitch is basically you being a salesperson for your idea/project/etc. And because no one does what you do quite like you, no one else has this unique product – only you. So crafting a good pitch (remembering the things to include and things to avoid) is just a way of giving your product its best chance of success.
If this talk was helpful to you, I would absolutely love to hear about your pitching successes in the comments here (or over on Twitter) and if you have any more questions, I’m happy to answer them! I am often a bit busy but will do my absolute best to answer all Qs in comments here if you have any more.
There are a couple of other articles that I wrote here that might be useful if you’re freelancing:
- Freelance rates – deciding what to charge
- Common pitching mistakes
- How to turn offers of free work into paid work (kind of)
- Sponsorship + commissions (how to get money for attending events)